Louisiana/Tennessee Embargoed Test Score Coincidence?

So Supt. White has embargoed test scores.  Seems he is not the only superintendent with "that problem."  His Chiefs for Change comrade Kevin Huffman of Tennessee is following his lead.  And I thought White was the copy cat of all his Ed policy.  I guess I didn't give him enough credit.

This re- post explains the "coincidence."

http://norinrad10.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/more-on-the-tennessee-tcap-fiasco/comment-page-1/#comment-39

Dad Gone Wild

“We must make this the decade of education reform,” he wrote in January 2010, later citing initiatives he favors: decisions driven by “transparent data on student achievement,” differentiated pay for high-performing teachers and, perhaps most telling, “taking seriously who needs to leave the system” to upgrade the teaching profession. (http://archive.tennessean.com/article/20131125/NEWS04/311250021/Chorus-criticism-doesn-t-stop-reform-minded-TN-education-chief-Huffman)
The above is the most telling paragraph in an article written by Joey Garrison on Kevin Huffman in November of 2013. Everything in that statement frames the situation Mr Huffman and the Tennessee Department of Education now find themselves embroiled in. He says that student achievement data needs to be transparent. Currently it most certainly is not. We have no idea about what’s on the test or how scores are calculated and apparently those rules are being written on the fly. Meanwhile it is the time to apply his assertion about “taking seriously who needs to leave the system.”
This has been the year of heavy scrutiny upon standardized tests. Parents are paying more attention then ever to what kind of testing their children are being subjected to and have started to raise questions. Its fair to say that a level of distrust has begun to ferment. Criticism’s have been leveled that testing reduces a child to just the measured and that “cut scores” are merely political machinations. If there ever was ever a time for a process to run smoothly and error free, now was the time.
Unfortunately, the Tennessee Department of Education failed to rise to the challenge. What they’ve created is akin to telling a heart patient they have six months to live but you can get them their medicine in 7 months. Think that’s hyperbole? Talk to some Tennessee families about the stress they’ve endured this spring over testing. Talk to some teachers and administrators about the pressure they’ve felt over the upcoming tests and their effect on their livelihood. I think the illustration is spot on and in this case the patient has “done died”.
Think about it. How valid can we really consider these scores to be? You may call it “post-equating” but to me it sounds like manipulation. We’ve all taken tests given by teachers. They write the test, hand it out, grade it in a timely fashion and return it. There is no need for “post-equating”. You either knew the material or you didn’t. Occasionally results were applied to a bell curve buts it was done by the teacher and all students were made aware of how and why that curve worked. It was all pretty simple.  Apparently its not so simple when the state is involved.
I’ve always believed these test scores were finessed to tell the political story that was desired at the time. “We’re doing great. we need to continue with the same policies.” or “We are doing terrible. Its time for change”. It was an unspoken truth that “cut scores” changed annually. Problem was, test were so lacking of transparency that you could never cite evidence to 100% prove that they were manipulated and the message was so controlled that it was hard to dispute.
This latest debacle blows a hole in the argument that scores aren’t massaged. I’m sorry “post-equated”. Added to the “post equating” is some mumbo jumbo about making sure questions “align with common core”. To me that sounds like arbitrarily looking at questions and throwing a few out. Anybody who’s ever looked at these tests in-depth is aware of much just changing one or two variables can change the whole narrative. Back home, we call it cooking the books.
I can hear the chorus coming from TN department of Education now, “You’re spreading half truths! We’re emphasizing accuracy over speed!” Well here is another truism that I’ve lived with my whole life in the customer service realm, perception is  nine tenths of reality. That’s why these results have now been corrupted beyond redemption. There will always be a question of their authenticity. This is inexcusable and someone needs to be held accountable.
The integrity of the test and its results have been placed on such a pedestal that it has now become the focus to a large portion of the population for several months a year. The ramifications of test scores have grown exponentially.  Commissioner Huffman was willing to stake teachers careers on test results. Parents hire tutors and make decisions on extra curricular activities based on the test. Remember Little Leagues don’t play games during test week. Teachers and administers lay awake at night fretting about how to wring more points out of their children. After all if they lose their jobs due to test scores, the mortgage gets hard to pay. They try to use that to justify attention diverted from their own families. Yes Mr Huffman, teachers have families, but that’s another story for another day. Today’s story is how you took all this focus and made it for naught.
The crowning point of this CF is the solution. So we’ve already established that this years data is useless, but its still supposed to be included in students final grades per a Tennessee statute. The Tennessee Department of Education’s response is to further re-enforce the worthlessness of the results by granting waivers. That’s right, all school districts who request a waiver for these scores being used in final grades will receive a waiver to include scores in final grades. Now I’ll admit I’m a little lazy and I haven’t looked it up, but I’m pretty certain the Tennessee statute doesn’t read, “TCAP tests shall make up 15 to 25% of a students final grade unless the Tennessee Department of Education fails to do its job.”
Its interesting because the commissioner has always liked to play a little loose with the waivers. Last year he granted one to a charter outside of Memphis but when I asked if MNPS would be eligible for one, I was told he doesn’t have that kind of power. Somebody must have given it to him since then because he’s certainly handing them out now, further reinforcing the perception that the test results are worthless. Hopefully some elected state officials will take a look at where he got that power.
thGZ5Z8RLH
Hopefully by now you’re starting to realize the scope of this fiasco. Its not some harmless clerical error. Those of you who have ever proctored one of these test know how fiercely the propriety of these tests are guarded. Walls are covered up, teachers swear blood oaths and parents are never allowed to see the questions. That’s got to change. Mr. Huffman needs to resign and tests need to be released to those who truly have the best interests of the students at heart, the parents and the teachers. If he truly believes in making this the decade of education reform, Mr. Huffman needs to honor the statement he made back in November of last year, otherwise it all becomes eternally corrupted and useless.



Corporatist Takeover of Public Education via Anita Hoge



I just read the following piece written by a lady named Anita Hoge.  I don't know her or anything about her beyond this piece.  I don't know what religion she is, what politics she ascribes to or what her dog is in this hunt.  I do know that she has documented all in one place what I have learned, what I have experienced,  and what I essentially believe to be pretty darn close to completely accurate.

    http://www.newswithviews.com/Hoge/anita107.htm      

Read and share.  Then take action.  Here is my summary position:

A must read. The whole picture for changing the governance of our public schools.  Below is Anita Hoge's  plan to defeat the corporatist takeover. It's not easy.  It won't happen if the majority of people are unaware or just sit back and expect others to do it.  The ability to overcome it though lies in the fact that YOU OWN the essential HUMAN CAPITAL that is needed to make the profits that fuel the agenda - YOUR CHILDREN!  Do NOT turn them over to these corporations.  Note this statement in particular: You must also fight the Common Core Standards and do not be side-tracked by the debate of which standard is best.    It's not the Standards Stupid!  It's the Initiative and it has to GO!  Don't let YOUR children take the test. Radical I know, but it's not the most radical thing our citizens have had to do in our brief history as a nation now is it?!!

Excerpt:



"The Good News Plan


What is the answer? Your state MUST put caps on charter schools or your local neighborhood school will be crushed. Your local school board must fight for their independence against a mayor or governor seeking to destroy their elected positions in your community. They must file suit to keep their positions. We must also fight against the federal legislation and meet with your elected officials to stop choice and vouchers in that reauthorization of ESEA where the funding will follow the child. You must also fight the Common Core Standards and do not be side-tracked by the debate of which standard is best.


Fight the transfer of power that are putting in place to destroy traditional education. Refuse the psychoanalyzing of your student at school. Stress academic solutions. Support your traditional teachers; they are being forced to change or be fired. Also, insist on a federal investigation against FERPA and the personal data-trafficking on your individual child that was unlocked by Obama. This is a tall order, but it can be done. It's called local control and states rights.


In conclusion, a story about the community of Bridgeport, Connecticut is worthy of national attention. A group of citizens filed suit against Mayor Finch for dismantling the locally elected school board. Finch, along with Superintendent Paul Vallas, who had previously been hired to run the schools in Chicago, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, has had a set back. The challenging group won their seats back and they won control of the majority this past election. They have promised that Vallas will be gone. This is how a beneficial power-play is made, and this can be done in your city or a city near you."

 













  


Louisiana Senator Conrad Appel Rightfully Called Out

I felt like giving voice to one of our very active parents against the  Common Core Initiative.  This letter from Sara Wood of St. Tammany Parish was written in response to a Facebook Post by one of our Louisiana senators.  Sara is a conservative Republican who has engaged with a diverse group of CCSS opponents to very actively oppose ALL of the CCSS initiative because she has studied its genesis and its progress.

Senator Appel has supported the disastrous education reforms of our Governor Bobby Jindal since he took office.  As Chairman of the Senate Education Committee he rules without mercy doling out sarcasm and disdain to every citizen who testifies against his position.  He has refused during this legislative session to allow a number of anti-common core bills to be heard in committee.  This will effectively kill these bills.  He has been righteously attacked both for his stance and his behavior.  This was his justification post:

You decide.

My friends ask why I am such a passionate defender of Common Core State Standards. Why am I willing to take a stand that seemingly flies in the face of what some people believe to be a problem? Why do I allow myself to be viciously attacked by bloggers hiding behind the cover of Internet pseudonyms?

The answers to these questions find basis in my fundamental beliefs; beliefs introduced to me through education and reinforced by familial values. First, I am a natural optimist. I believe in the good of people and their infinite capacity to grow and improve their lives. This principle convinces me that all children can learn and that quality education should not just be limited to those who have won the great lottery of being born into a family with means. 

I am a firm believer in the historical foundations of our country. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution states, "We the People of the United States, in Order to Form a More Perfect Union..."; it does not state just, "We the People..". I am the son of a World War II veteran who gave fours years of his young life in defense of the proposition that we are only strong when we are united and not when we are constantly concerned about what we have and what is good for us an individuals. The Constitution was ratified because it was universally acknowledged amongst the Founding Fathers that 13 independent states (states in the absolute sense of separate countries) would never be able to succeed; that only one united nation could live up to the potential of what these people had fought to establish. The Constitution created a structure under which individual states would willingly forgo limited individual power in favor of a stronger, representative governing authority. Time has proven the adage "we are stronger united than divided" to have been a phenomenally successful decision.

My life has not been that of a politician. I started my own business forty years ago and have been dedicated to family, hard work, and self sacrifice. This personal history taught me one great rule that career politicians often ignore. The difference between my personal philosophy and theirs is that once I evaluate an issue and make a careful decision upon its merits, I will not alter my position to make my political life easier or because it would further my political ambitions. I find that too many of our leaders are far too willing to flip-flop on ideas or principles because such ideas frighten or offend one small segment of the political spectrum, or because such ideas create a politically uncomfortable situation for themselves. This is intellectually dishonest and I will never pander to special interests by abandoning my fundamental beliefs.

Finally, the reason I support Common Core specifically is really quite simple. Louisiana is ranked 49th in educational outcomes in a country that was once the leader of the educational world, but is no more. I, and most of my legislative peers, have discounted the arguments put forth by various media 
personalities, special interest groups, political social climbers, and unions; those who have much to gain by promoting fear and distrust of Washington and for whom the success or failure of Louisiana's children is secondary to their political ideology or personal goals.

Louisiana was an early leader in the design and implementation of this set of standards, standards collectively devised by 45 states because the old way of educating America's children had clearly failed our children. Is Common Core perfect? No. Did the rollout go perfectly? No. But, what other alternative is on the horizon. None!

I support Common Core because I am totally committed to the belief that all of our children can learn and deserve the right to a fair chance to achieve success in life. I believe that we are always stronger united then when we only concentrate upon the good of the individual. I believe that the politics of fear for political or financial benefit has no place in education, the legislative process, or in our society. Finally, I believe that there is every indication that we can make Common Core work very well for our children; when we do, Louisiana has a better than even odds of delivering upon our state's fundamental principles: Union, Justice, Confidence. 

Our Nation is hurting right now. We are the victim of an ideological sickness that is an anathema to most citizens. However, we must not allow ourselves to become blinded to the current state of affairs of Louisiana's future generations. We have an opportunity to join the vast majority of our sister states in a unified effort, created by those states, to recapture America's educational supremacy. We must take full advantage of this opportunity and not allow our state to fall back into the cycle of ignorance and poverty. 

- Sen. Conrad Appel

***********

This is Sara's response:

Senator Appel,

As to your Facebook post below, I think that you fail to understand what our Constitution was meant to represent and protect.  I have attached an explanation of that most basic premise, but I will tell you that more than anything else it was meant to limit the centralization of government, either through concentration of the federal or of the states in concerted effort.  However, though your opinion and perspective are yours to have as an individual, you seem to fail to remember that you are a representative of your area and as Chairman, you represent all of us concerned and affected by whatever committee you oversee.  Your actions as Chairman and also as Senator of your area do not reflect a commitment to uphold and support our state and U.S. Constitutions. You clearly disregard the concerns of parents and teachers in every way that matters but hide that fact by stating that you are supporting the less fortunate; as if the less fortunate lack the ability to improve their situation without the assistance of government. That seems to be the dangling carrot that works best on people when you take their freedoms so that is not unique to you.  Regardless, your actions reflect an elite and dictatorial mentality and it does not align with much of what you state in your post. 

Prime Example: How can you stick to a decision that was made by you when the Common Core was an abstract theory that even then had the clear potential for moving our country toward the EFFECTIVE nationalization of education though "voluntarily led" by elite governors working with elite academics?  However since the time that you made your commitment to the Common Core theory, we have now experienced that theory in practice and it leaves much to be desired, to say the least.  A change of position in light of this is not "intellectual dishonesty" but prudent and wise, unless of course there are special interest/career/financial commitments that cannot be broken and that may well be the real reason for all of this seemingly "pig-headedness" by many elected officials.  Otherwise, it is ignorant to fail to see the many challenges Common Core has posed and will continue to pose in practice on too many levels to keep this email brief. 

Another Example: Do you think that it is proper for you to hold hostage HB1076 that undoubtedly protects the rights of our children from the actions of the state. A state that allows its agencies to blatantly disregard the constitutional protection of those rights and refused to pass anything but bills that add insult to injury by making every effort to reward those agencies with even more discretion and to thwart all efforts to the contrary?  Do you think it is right for you to use your discretion and power as Chairman to make our children, political pawns until the move is made to pass your bills through the House favorably?  

How do these actions align with what you state on your Facebook page and the fact that your perception of yourself there does not align with the perception created by your actions?   

You seem to favor a centralized/unified position by states and that is very sad to hear because that actually eliminates any "choice" for everyone in everything where that is employed.  In this case, it is Education.  Your actions do not favor the successful elements of the historical foundations of our country and your actions actually serve to continue the destruction of that foundation and bring us closer to a totalitarian form of government, through the guise and dangling carrot of "opportunity" and "choice" for those less fortunate, when you know that the result will eventually be to make all of us less fortunate except elites which eventually get picked off or supplanted by more powerful elites.  

There is a reason Karl Marx referred to "useful idiots" as a significant means to accomplish his end.  And what history has shown us is that people should consider the fact that they do not hold a crystal ball and that power and influence are fleeting. So though a person may have power and influence, today, to protect and insulate themselves and their own children from the part that they are playing to dumb down America and destroy it, tomorrow all of that could be gone or taken by a bigger fish, who used that useful idiot's power and influence to increase his power and influence and then imprison/execute or if he is lucky, leave that useful idiot to stand in the bread lines with the masses waiting for the crumbs from the elite in power.

However, poetic justice would be when those bread line days finally do occur, that one of us, who were the Paul Reveres, gets to be the last person to receive the crumbs for the day, just in front of one of those useful idiots, who is left to eat nothing but the air of the Brave New USSA that he helped to create.  Look it up, it always happens this way.

This is not about ideology but about stopping a path that has scary and tragic historical facts as its evidence, and that has NO place for NO reason here in America.  Government has never and will never be the solution and is always the problem, when it comes to freedom.  

I do pray that somewhere in that Capitol, there are men of conscience, who if they reflect upon all that is said by freedom-loving, American parents with no interest other than to protect their children, they will hear, listen and do what is right and respectful of individual freedom, state sovereignty and limited federal government.    Faith and adherence to that is the only path for a successful America in the future.

Something makes me hope that you can be one of those men.  Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Sara Wood (mother of four)
Mandeville, LA  
Proud LA graduate of Alfred Bonnabel High School, University of New Orleans, Loyola University at New Orleans, School of Law, 100% Hispanic woman, double minority, first generation American raised by a single mother of low income, and I know with certainty that if I had been educated under this Common Core Initiative and tested under PARCC, my education credentials would be much less and therefore my life would be vastly different and very very likely not for the better.  I only want what is best for my children and all children of Louisiana publicly educated and I know that this is the opposite.

The Reality of Teach For America

I suspect that a lot of my readers also follow Diane Ravitch's blog.  But just in case there is anyone who missed her blog today, I am reporting it here.  When you finish, I recommend you also read the comments posted afterward.

I sent this to every Louisiana legislator because the empathy it exudes represents what is most important in teaching and in life.  This TFA's experience is an example of the truth that the most important lessons can be learned without every having been "taught."


Sydney Miller: Why I Quit TeachNola in New Orleans
















14

Just as there have been many public resignations by teachers in public schools who feel beaten down by mandates and by the high-stakes testing regime, there is now an emerging genre of resignation letters by young people who joined short-term programs like Teach for America.
This one, by Sydney Miller, is poignant and beautifully written. Sydney was part of TeachNola, which brought in young graduates like herself who made only a one-year commitment.
The question that all these statements pose is larger than the situation of the individual. We should all wonder, as we read these letters, about the relentless demolition of teaching as a career, as a calling, as a life, as a choice that–like all choices–has its pluses and minuses. Even for someone recruited to TFA, the allure was strong, but the reality was spiritually damaging. We should ask, as we read her reflections, whether the leaders of the fake reform movement actually intend to destroy the teaching profession and whether they understand the damage they do to the lives of real people–of children, denied an experienced and well-prepared teacher; of career teachers, treated shabbily, of the idealistic young people who enter TFA, only to find that their idealism has been cynically betrayed.
Sydney writes:
“Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.”
– Nadine Stair, 85, Louisville, Kentucky
Earlier this month, I saw a jazz show at Snug Harbor Bistro. Khari Allen introduced his band and an accompanying artist named Marcus Akinlana. As Khari and the New Creative Collective buzzed, strummed, and breathed the noises of their souls, Akinlana moved vibrant colors across black paper to imitate the movements of his heart and mind. I sat in a narrow wooden chair, lost in wonder. Whether my eyes were open or closed, my body seemed to beat, sway and absorb the art that seeped into every corner of the small room. An hour had passed when I came out of this coma and I silently thanked the artists and myself for allowing those moments to have taken place. I was present, and it was a gift. 
Since leaving the classroom about a month ago, I have been working on enjoying moments and taking the time to pay attention to what is going on around me. I am trying to enjoy the process, whatever process that may be at a given time, and allow my mind to live in the present.

This has been difficult. In the world of charter education from which I have recently emerged, there is a trend of urgency. That urgency comes from investing in the idea that catching up in school is the answer to solving poverty or the key to more opportunity.

While there is an urgent fight to be had, it seems the charter model is running down the wrong path. Our country is not in a state of crisis because people are not performing well on standardized tests or being accepted into college; our country is in a state of crisis because the individuals who live within it are failing to appreciate moments, people and spaces. Service programs and charter schools are pursuing an abstract “cause” and forgetting to see and hear the individuals whom these systems are supposedly serving. A plethora of new teachers and schools have implanted themselves on sacred ground, and are yielding to the sole priority of higher test scores, while failing to appreciate the importance of a culture, unique to any other that our country has to offer.
While providing insufficient services, charters disenfranchise the communities they serve, profit from self-acclaimed successes, and fail to critically examine their methods to understand their failures. Holding test scores as a solution to poverty does nothing to empower oppressed communities. In fact, this practice often facilitates further oppression.
It was a Thursday afternoon staff meeting. Pale, tired faces gathered around in one seamless circle for announcements and “shout-outs” — which were a regular part of our meetings, in an effort to raise morale. In the back corner of the cafeteria knelt Kevin, a tall, handsome young man in the senior class, and member of the football team. He crouched with one knee on a stool and one cleat on the ground, next to Jim, our school’s handyman. The two worked together to tighten and adjust Kevin’s football helmet to fit. They alternated using the drill and stabilizing the table and helmet. I watched them working together from across the room, and noticed how their gestures, out of instinct, generously accommodated the other’s movements.
A few members of the staff became aware of their presence, and someone raised an accusatory finger in their direction. Our principal whipped her head around. As she realized their presence, she immediately demanded, “Jim, get him out!” Their working momentum broke like a brittle stick, and Kevin’s short dreadlocks rose to send a hurt and disturbed glare towards our circle. He took the helmet in two hands and slammed it against the surface of the table before turning to jam open a heavy door under a fluorescent red Exit sign.
As the door shut behind him, so did the school value of “Respect,” perfectly centered and stapled to red construction paper, mounted on the door with our common definition: “Treat others how you want to be treated.” The meeting proceeded.
One beautiful thing about teaching is that nearly every aspect of your life can be related back to your job. As one learns through experience, “best practices” can hopefully find a place in the classroom. Throughout the past year, I was intent on discovering how I learn best, trying to employ these same tactics for my students. I came to fairly obvious conclusions: I learn best in environments where I feel safe, appreciated, and respected. On the contrary, if I am rushed, or I can tell I am unappreciated or undervalued, my focus collapses into surface level thinking. This pattern held true for the students I worked with, and I can only assume for most other human beings.
At a number of the ever-proliferating charter schools in New Orleans, the school policies contradict their self-acclaimed value of “respect,” and in turn, inhibit the possibility for meaningful learning to take place. When students arrive at school and are told to be silent in hallways and cafeterias, they are being sent a clear message: the people in charge do not trust you and do not respect you. They are being told that whatever manner in which they naturally is exist and interact is inappropriate.
If their “low achieving” test scores are projected on Promethean Boards without context of the biases that produce these disparities, then students will continue to internalize the feeling that they are the problem. If a higher emphasis is placed on the absence of their black leather belt — rather than their current mental state — then students will begin to lose trust in the adults that are supposed to care for them. Furthermore, if students are surrounded by white teachers from privileged backgrounds, who have college degrees and who dictate the meaning of success, it might be conflicting for them to see a place for themselves in this sphere of elitists. They may also begin to wonder what is wrong with their people, that there are so few black teachers in an all black school.
A friend forwarded me an email about a course entitled Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) taking place at the United Teacher’s of New Orleans, and I enrolled. The space was starkly simple, especially in contrast with the complexity that filled the room once our sessions began. On the third session of SEED, as I sat in the now familiar navy, plastic chairs, atop the off-white linoleum floor, I listened to the soothing words of Davina Allen, our instructor. Around the circle sat people with faces of all colors and ages. Together in the room we read through Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” Each person took a turn reading:

“1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.”
“2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.”
“3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.”

And the list goes on.

It was Katrena Ndang’s turn to read. She is 70, and was born and raised in New Orleans. White hairs threaded through her narrow dreadlocks, a few twisted gently in the back of her head, with the rest falling softly on her neck. Her beautiful hands held the paper and the side of the chair she sat on. Her reading glasses balanced at the bottom of her nose, and her eyes squinted down at the paper. When she read, her voice sounded worn and disenchanted, as though she had read these words 10,000 times before.

She breathed out a sigh, and a revelation came to fruition: She had read these words 10,000 times before. Based on her stories and insights she shared with the group, it seemed that Ms. Ndang has thought about race every day, for 70 years. She has never had the privilege, as I have, of picking and choosing the hours of her day when race, and everything that it has come to mean, would affect her and her loved ones. She has never had the choice to opt in or out of a fight for anti-racism. And that is what privilege is.
As Nadine Stair wisely pointed out in her old age, moments are meaningful when we stop looking so far ahead. When schools are too preoccupied with results, it is tempting to deny a reality that good teaching responds to the needs of those individuals who occupy the classroom. This set of needs cannot be prematurely predicted or determined. When a need for control and synchronization mutes the sincerity of moments, classrooms become oppressive for all parties involved.

In the spring of 2013, I turned down an offer to spend a second year at the charter school where I began my teaching career. I said no more to demerits, lazy leadership, and the assignment to design curricula for 10th graders who were already years behind grade level, and would further suffer from my lack of experience. I quit reading e-mails that began with “Team and Family,” and followed with a laundry list of senseless tasks that challenged me to prove my loyalty to children by grading hundreds of exit tickets and attending hours of professional development that taught me to read numbers instead of people. I said goodbye to a GoogleCal that is so full you forget to pick your head up and look around you to see the damage you might have caused towards people you care about.

September 2, 2013, I quit my second job. I was a double quitter. I said goodbye to school values bargained for monetary prizes so that students could buy Blow Pops if they showed respect to their oppressors. I said “see ya” to test prep after test prep, silent study hall and lunch detention. I said “no thanks” to revering a set of formalized control tactics as my guide to becoming a great teacher, and the skills of conformity to feign success. I said “peace out” to standing in circles that silently requested I do favors for people I did not trust in exchange for shout-outs. I put a rest to the habit of telling students to be powerful while giving them demerits for speaking at all. I stopped calling students “scholars” to fool them into thinking that their education system had not failed them miserably, and I stopped suspending students for a phone that slipped from their pocket, and a subsequent refusal to turn over what is rightfully theirs. I walked away from barking the acronym SPARK, so that the position of their bodies could feed directly into the assertion of my control.

I’m a quitter of damaging institutions and disingenuous moments. I am sorry for the students I turned my back on, and can only hope that my exit has validated a common sentiment that the school system they are subject to is unjust. One day, I’ll be strong and wise enough to help change these systems, but I’m not there yet. So for now, I’ll keep quitting.
Sydney Miller has dreams of becoming an excellent English teacher. She is from New York City, and moved to New Orleans after college.

Louisiana Senate Educ Committee Fully Aware Before Vote

A re-post from Mike Deshotel's "Louisiana Educator"  blog.

The information in this blog of mine regarding the Charter Management company for the new Lafayette charters mentioned here was sent to every legislator prior to hearing this bill so they were fully aware of what they were voting for. We must hold them accountable for their failure to listen to their constituency.

http://www.geauxteacher.net/2014/05/charter-schools-usa-jonathan-hage-sails.html

Louisiana Educator


Posted: 16 May 2014 03:49 AM PDT
The Senate Education Committee ignored the concerns of all the major public school stakeholders and sided with the charter school managers and other haters of public schools in killing HB 703. As I explained in previous posts, HB 703 would have prevented the proliferation of preadatory charters throughout the state. These are charter schools that are doing serious damage to our public education system and at the  the same time destroying the education profession.

Every single member of the Senate Education committee made it very clear that they are in favor of more charter schools even if it is to the determent of our public school systems. The president of the Lafayette Parish school board explained to the committee how the addition of several predatory charter schools in Lafayette Parish, (a "B" rated school system) by BESE over the objection of the local school board this past year proves this point. Instead of setting up in the part of town serving high poverty students, where school performance scores are low, the new charters specifically located where they could try to attract some of the highest performing students of the Lafayette Parish system. When these schools get operating they systematically remove students who are discipline problems and the lowest performers and dump them back into the public school system. Basically they cream the best students in order to insure that they will receive a high school performance score. Meanwhile the performance score for the public school system goes down as they are forced to take the rejects from the predatory charters.

These predatory charter schools hire the cheapest teachers possible including persons that have not received an education degree and they often do not participate in the teacher retirement system. By avoiding the teacher retirement system the predatory charters save millions of dollars in cost that is now being asessed by our legislature to regular public school systems to pay down the unfunded liability of our retirement systems. Let's be clear. The legislature created the unfunded liability over many years by paying high benefits to many special groups and individuals (not to regular teachers) and now they are requiring the local school boards to pick up the tab to the tune of 31.5% of payroll. Yet the legislature has specificially exempted charter schools from this cost!

As such charter schools increase, a bigger and bigger burden is placed on our public schools until someday the cost to run any real public school may be prohibitive. But here's the real atrocity being perpetrated on the taxpayers and dedicated educators of our state: None of these charters have been shown to improve student performance over what they would have performed anyway. My latest analysis of the Louisiana Recovery District which is composed almost 100% of charter schools is that they perform at the 27th percentile compared to all the school systems in the state.  There is also evidence that many of these schools are grossly under reporting their student dropout rate. (The New Orleans RSD regularly "loses" about half its students on the way to graduation)

How can we the taxpayers continue to expand such a destructive system? Very simple, the charter management companies are using some of the money they save in operating costs by shortchanging our retirement system to make big contributions to the governor, BESE, and the same legislators who are slowly dismantling public education. They are gradually buying their way (using our tax dollars) into the destruction of public education. 

If you want to see what education will be like in Louisiana if this trend continues just read up on the education system of Chile where 100% of the schools have been privatized. The politicians of Chile have succeeded in completely stratifying the education system in Chile into the haves and the have-nots with privateers making off with the tax dollars. This is where we are headed in Louisiana!

Exposing Phony Testimony Against Louisiana Charter Bill

This letter was sent to members of the Senate Education Committee on May 15 in support of HB 703 sponsored by Rep. John Bel Edwards (Rep. Edwards is the only Democrat running for Governor and enjoys the support of the education community due in part to his support of public education).

http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=894875&n=HB703%20Engrossed - To prohibit the State Board of Education from approving a charter that had been denied by a local district school board.

You can watch the video of the testimony spoken of in Senate Education Committee here:

VideoEducation
Part 1 | Part 2
  Upon Adjournment
  John J. Hainkel Room
Daily Journal PDF Download


The second piece of commentary is from a Louisiana parent and public education advocate who is well educated on the background behind the privatization of our schools and the part that the Common Core Initiative plays in that effort.

Veronica Brooks -
Email: vbrooks@lacharterschools.org
Veronica, a native of Virginia, graduated from the University of Virginia and earned a Master of Public Policy with a focus on Education Policy from George Washington University. She began her career in education with Teach For America as a middle school science teacher and went on to work from D.C. Public Schools, the Louisiana Department of Education, a teacher quality think tank, and an international research firm before joining LAPCS. (Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools - works for Carolyn Roemer, Exec. Director and sister of State Board of Education President Chas Roemer - the Jindal influenced State Ethics Board ruled that this was not a conflict of interest although Chas Roemer supports the replacement of traditional public schools with charters).  
Veronica replaces fact with fiction and provokes alligator tears in her public testimonies.  Of course she is not from Louisiana.  Of course she is a Teach For America alumnus. 

Stephanie Desselles - Vice President, CABL, Council for a Better Louisiana
Ms. Desselles who has no education background is the mouthpiece for the business interests pushing privatization.  You can see Ms. Desselles in action in this video in which she and a mouthpiece for Stand For Children debate me and Dr. Mercedes Schneider (teacher and author of the new book A Chronicle of Echoes: Who's Who in the Implosion of American Public Education.)

http://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/my-lwv-speech-and-debate-of-common-core/


From: Elizabeth McEnery
Sent: Friday, May 16, 2014 10:16 AM
To: lafleure@legis.la.govdonahuej@legis.la.govguillorye@legis.la.gov;
Mike Walsworth; whitem@legis.la.govcortezp@legis.la.gov
Cc: vbrooks@lacharterschools.org




Subject: Re: Senate Ed Committee on 5-15-14


May 15, 2014
Dear Senators,

I spoke to the Education Committee yesterday concerning my support for
Representative Edwards' House Bill 703. After my heart felt request for your
approval of the Bill I sat down and others came forward to oppose the Bill.

One who opposes the Bill, Ms. Brooks, took my true story of highly
impoverished teenaged boys being pushed out of charter schools only to
become either victims or perpetrators of violent crimes, some even being
murdered, and injected her own story, with tears. 


I was not referring to the three boys shot by an adult in New Orleans last week, though 
she insisted I was. The boys I knew and referred to were murdered over the last seven or
eight years. They were pushed out of New Orleans RSD charter high schools.
There was no follow up by a local School Board and their guardians were not
able to get them enrolled in another school so they ended up on the streets.


Ms. Brooks may be new to New Orleans. She may have never had experiences in
our most impoverished neighborhoods. I invite her, or anyone of you, to work
with us in those neighborhoods for a year or two - or for a week - or for a
day. 


Please come with me as I drive my ministry kids home late at night and
go inside their homes with me to meet and get to know their families. Please
go with me to their Funerals and to their Repasts. Please talk with their
Moms or their Grandmothers or their big sisters who are raising them and
find out why their boys and girls sometimes do not re enroll in school after
being pushed out of a charter school. Please hear them tell you, in their
tears, about their historic neighborhood public schools that no longer exist
and how their children are not admitted into the often selective charter
schools that took their places and even their names. And about the well
meaning but very young, inexperienced Teach For America teachers from other
states who have replaced our experienced veteran teachers and who have
frequent temper tantrums and crying spells in their classrooms. 


I tried to give this explanation to Ms. Brooks in a letter yesterday just after she
spoke. She had Ms. Desselles return it to me, stating that she did not want
to read it. This seems inappropriate for the Director of Louisiana Charter

Schools. She should want to know these things. She should want to make
appropriate policy changes for charter schools. These are real concerns
which Ms. Brooks seems to ignore. Her attitude further supports the
experiences of those young people my ministry serves. They are often ignored
and have no real system when charter schools push them out. Where is their
choice when you grade their public schools out of existence? I could tell
you a lot more.

Respectfully yours,



 Libba McEnery
 New Orleans, Louisiana                        
 Lamb Ministries ~ Home
LAMB Ministries - Laborers About The Master's Business Ministries
International, faith-based Christian ministry to inner city New Orleans,
Louisiana

           View on www.lambnola.com

To All,

Libba would like the truth to be known.  Yesterday was a horrible day in
Senate Ed.  Please go and watch Libba's testimony and then Veronica Brooks,
Stephanie Desselles, and Bridget Nieland.  It is even more despicable that
Ms. Brooks would flex her muscle through CABLE (Stephanie Desselles) and
that  Ms. Desselles would happily agree to do Veronica's bidding - Her words
to Libba were:  She(Veronica) doesn't want to read it.  All Veronica had to
do was throw the letter away, but instead she had Stephanie Deselles throw
the letter in Libba's face - in essence showing a total disregard for these
poor unfortunate children that Libba works with on a daily basis.

It is time for this Louisiana corrupted charter machine to be revealed -
possibly in a diagram form - Bobby Jindal, John White, Chaz Roemer, Shirley
Roemer, Kiera Orange Jones, Holly Boffy, etc., Curt Eysink (head of the LWC
and sits on the La. Public Charter Schools Board of Directors, etc.)and all
of the rest of the pro Teach for America crowd promoting and using young TFA
recruits for a sinister purpose. It is hard to believe that all of these
people do not understand what they are doing including: See attached.

Below, one of many comments on the attached, and Libba's letter  to the
Senators.

TFA would be fine if they weren't being substituted for so very many of our
real teachers. one or two in a school could be good for everyone concerned.
But, I think the plan is for Charters to be the conduit for Common Core and
TFAs to be the facilitators of Common Core! In NOLA they fired 100% of the
certified teachers after Katrina. They hired some back and replaced the rest
with TFAs. Now I don't know the exact numbers, but I think that RSD Charter
Schools have above 50% TFA! They will do as they are told and teach from the
script! There are TFA style Principals too. They are from NEW LEADERS FOR
NEW SCHOOLS and they get a crash course in Education Administration and then
replace qualified and experienced Principals! Education is fast being de
professionalized. 

Will the Louisiana Legislature Fund Teach for America's $5 million NGO Request?

I was absolutely amazed (NOT) to see that Teach for America (Louisiana) was continuing their annual request for funding as a Non-Governmental Organization through the Legislature to the tune of $5,000,000.00.

 I admit I don't understand why they do this because it seems to be an exercise in futility, but something tells me there is something to it and that they benefit in some way.  I know I buy a Lottery ticket occasionally, knowing that my chances of winning are basically zero-none, so maybe they have their fingers crossed (and a special friend in the legislature) in hopes that their ship will also come in and dock alongside mine!

There is a lot of information out there about Teach for America and the multi-millions$$ that they take in every year for their highly paid staff.  What we don't know is exactly how the millions are spent that our Lousiana Department of Education and the willing philantrophy of BESE award them every year. 

My latest attempt to curb the funding of TFA came at the May 15 BESE meeting. Here are my notes:


Today BESE voted on two Teach For America contracts.  One for over $mil for 520 recruits and another for the RSD that amends a previous RSD TFA contract for over $mil by adding another $250,000.  Lots of discussion prompted by testimony. 

John White said: "The legislature has earmarked money for TFA."  Implying that it doesn't come from the established LDOE budget or MFP money. (This statement an be found in the videotape archives.) 

In my testimony, I read this email from Michael Tipton, TFA Director (see below) that I got in 2010 which indicates to me that LDOE does directly fund TFA.  Was John White incorrect about the funds for TFA?

 From: lpbharley@aol.com
> >>> Sent: Monday, June 28, 2010 4:03 PM
> >>> To: Tipton, Michael
> >>> Subject: Louisiana NGO Request

Mr. Tipton:

I would appreciate information from you regarding your NGO requests from
the State of Louisiana for the years 2009 and 2010.

I have access to your grant requests for both years but I would like to
know if your requests were funded.


Sincerely,

Lee P. Barrios, M.Ed., NBCT


 From: "Tipton, Michael" <michael.tipton@teachforamerica.org>
> >>> Date: July 1, 2010 at 11:07:18 AM CDT
> >>> To: "lpbharley@aol.com"
> >>> Subject: RE: Louisiana NGO Request

 Thank you for your e-mail.

The NGO request system is a bit misleading – Teach For America didn’t
directly request funding through the legislature but rather the Department of
Education and other departments have made requests to fund Teach For America as
part of their strategic priorities and work in a number of high needs areas of
the state. In both the 2009 and 2010 years we did receive funding through this
process but not the amount originally requested. In both years Teach For America
was allocated $968,468 on a contract basis through the Department of Education.
The contracts, performance standards and outcomes should be available through
the Department if you’d like these as well.

 If you have any other questions please just let me know.

Michael


As Michael pointed out, "The NGO request system is a bit misleading."  Couldn't have said it better myself. 

You have to be an old English teacher like me, used to reading student writing with "creative" punctuation, to understand his next response.  He says,". . . the Department of Education and other departments (?) have made requests to fund Teach for America as part of their strategic priorities and work in a number of high needs areas of the state."

He is clearly stating that the Department of Education has made it their strategic priority to hire TFA grads and that LDOE has made the request to TFA rather than vice versa.  They certainly don't make hiring certified education grads from Louisiana or anywhere else a priority.  I don't know what other departments would have made a request to fund TFA, but it would be interesting to find out.

Back to John White's public response at the BESE meeting that "The legislature has earmarked money for TFA." 

It seems I regularly have reason to accuse John White of "misrepresentation" and this seemed to fit that description, so I contacted a member of the House Appropriations Committee to see what I could find out. This is the response that I got:

 "The funds are in the DOE budget and are itemized in supporting documents. So my understanding is they are earmarked for TFA but are within the DOE budget. They are not a line item in HB1."

As much as I love writing about TFA, there are other writers whose research capabilities are far greater than mine.  Here are a couple of posts by Dr. Mercedes Schneider:

http://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/kira-orange-jones-tfa-promotion-and-ldoe-tfa-contracts/

http://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/former-tfaers-gone-ldoe-leaders-incompetence-at-a-premium/?relatedposts_hit=1&relatedposts_origin=696&relatedposts_position=1

And this one refers you to another TFA fan who was once a Teach for America recruit, Gary Rubenstein, but is now a teacher.  Mercedes and I had the good fortune of having dinner with him recently when he was in New Orleans. Gary doesn't blog as much as he used to about Teacher for America, but you can find everything you never wanted to know about TFA from his earlier blogs:

http://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/want-a-trustworthy-word-on-teach-for-america-tfa-listen-to-former-tfaer-gary-rubinstein/?relatedposts_hit=1&relatedposts_origin=397&relatedposts_position=2 

Well I could go on and on about TFA and its many "indiscretions" but it's not difficult to find plenty on your own with a Google search.  My purpose here was simply to point out many of your TAX DOLLARS are going to fund non-certified, inexperienced TFA instructors while certified teachers and new college grads are being bumped. I also have a problem with the highly questionable ethics of allowing Kira Orange-Jones to sit on BESE while working for TFA.  I'm sure Governor Jindal made that happen.  






NGO Funding Request for 2014 Regular Session


The recipient entity's full legal name: Teach For America, Inc.

The recipient entity's physical address:
501 Government Street, Suite 100
Baton Rouge, LA 70802


The recipient entity's mailing address (if different):
P.O. Box 65148
Baton Rouge, LA 70896


Type of Entity (for instance, a nonprofit corporation): Non-Profit Corporation

If the entity is a corporation, list the names of the incorporators:
Thomas H. Castro
El Dorado Capital, LLC

Maxine Clark
Build-A-Bear Workshop®

Patricia J. Crawford
Wells Fargo

Millard Drexler
J. Crew Group

Paul Finnegan
Madison Dearborn Partners

Lew Frankfort
Coach, Inc.

David Gergen
Harvard University

Randall H. Harbert
State Farm Insurance Companies

Leo J. Hindery, Jr.
InterMedia Partners

Walter Isaacson (Chairman Emeritus)
The Aspen Institute

David W. Kenny
The Weather Channel Companies

Joel Klein
News Corporation

Wendy Kopp (Chair)
Teach For All

Matthew Kramer
Teach For America

John Legend
Recording Artist and Philanthropist

Sue Lehmann
Management Consultant

Michael L. Lomax
United Negro College Fund

Stephen F. Mandel, Jr. (Treasurer)
Lone Pine Capital, LLC

James M. McCormick
First Manhattan Consulting Group

Darla Moore
Rainwater, Inc.

Richard D. Parsons (Lead Director)
Providence Equity Partners, Inc.

Richard S. Pechter
Retired Chairman, DLJ Financial Services

Greg Penner
Madrone Capital Partners

Nancy Peretsman
Allen & Company, LLC

Arthur Rock
Arthur Rock & Co.

Vince Roig
Helios Education Foundation

Paula A. Sneed (Chair, National Council)
Kraft Foods, Inc.

Sir Howard Stringer
Sony Corporation

Kurt Strovink
McKinsey & Company

Lawrence H. Summers
Harvard University

Beverly Daniel Tatum
Spelman College

Sara Martinez Tucker
Former President & CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Gregory W. Wendt
Capital Research Company

Margaret “Meg” Whitman
Hewlett-Packard Company

Elisa Villanueva-Beard
Teach For America

José H. Villarreal
Akin Gump

Jide Zeitlin
The Keffi Group Ltd.


The last four digits of the entity's taxpayer ID number: 1913

What is the dollar amount of the request? $5,000,000

What type of request is this? General Appropriation

Is this entity in good standing with the Secretary of State? Yes

Provide the name of each member of the recipient entity's governing board and officers:
Thomas H. Castro
Founder and CEO
El Dorado Capital, LLC

Maxine Clark
Founder, Chief Executive Bear & Chairman
Build-A-Bear Workshop®

Patricia J. Crawford
Retired - Senior Vice President
Enterprise Diversity & Inclusion
Wells Fargo

Millard Drexler
Chairman and CEO
J. Crew Group

Paul Finnegan
Co-CEO
Madison Dearborn Partners

Lew Frankfort
Chairman & CEO
Coach, Inc.

David Gergen
Professor of Public Service
Director of the Center for Public Leadership
Harvard University

Randall H. Harbert
Senior Vice President
State Farm Insurance Companies

Leo J. Hindery, Jr.
Managing Partner
InterMedia Partners

Walter Isaacson (Chairman Emeritus)
President & CEO
The Aspen Institute

David W. Kenny
Chairman and CEO
The Weather Channel Companies

Joel Klein
CEO, Education Division
Executive Vice President, Office of the Chairman
News Corporation

Wendy Kopp (Chair)
CEO & Co-Founder
Teach For All

Matthew Kramer
Co-CEO
Teach For America

John Legend
Recording Artist and Philanthropist

Sue Lehmann
Management Consultant

Michael L. Lomax
President & CEO
United Negro College Fund

Stephen F. Mandel, Jr. (Treasurer)
Managing Director
Lone Pine Capital, LLC

James M. McCormick
Founder, CEO & President
First Manhattan Consulting Group

Darla Moore
Vice President
Rainwater, Inc.

Richard D. Parsons (Lead Director)
Senior Advisor
Providence Equity Partners, Inc.

Richard S. Pechter
Alumnus, Teach For America
Retired Chairman, DLJ Financial Services

Greg Penner
General Partner
Madrone Capital Partners

Nancy Peretsman
Managing Director
Allen & Company, LLC

Arthur Rock
Principal
Arthur Rock & Co.

Vince Roig
Chairman
Helios Education Foundation

Paula A. Sneed (Chair, National Council)
Retired Executive Vice President
Kraft Foods, Inc.

Sir Howard Stringer
Chairman
Sony Corporation

Kurt Strovink
Director
McKinsey & Company

Lawrence H. Summers
President Emeritus
Charles W. Eliot University Professor
Harvard University

Beverly Daniel Tatum
President
Spelman College

Sara Martinez Tucker
Former Under Secretary of Education (2006)
Former President & CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Gregory W. Wendt
Senior Vice President
Capital Research Company

Margaret “Meg” Whitman
President & Chief Executive Officer
Hewlett-Packard Company

Elisa Villanueva-Beard
Co-CEO
Teach For America

José H. Villarreal
Senior Advisor
Akin Gump

Jide Zeitlin
The Keffi Group Ltd.

Current Louisiana Executive Directors:

Michael Tipton, Executive Director Teach For America - South Louisiana

Kira Orange-Jones, Executive Director Teach For America - Greater New Orleans & Louisiana Delta

Board Members and co-CEOs can be contacted at:

Teach For America, Inc.
315 W. 36th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Louisiana Executive Directors can be contacted at:

Teach For America - South Louisiana
P.O. Box 65148
Baton Rouge, LA 70896


Provide a summary of the project or program:
Teach For America currently provides more than 500 teachers (corps members) and more than 1,000 alumni who serve as teachers, leaders and positive change agents in the lowest income schools throughout the Greater New Orleans and Greater Baton Rouge areas, Central Louisiana, Acadiana and the Louisiana Delta.

Teach For America’s sustainable and historical size of operation is 200 teachers and 100 alumni but after Hurricane Katrina and with the incredible opportunities for educational change in Louisiana, Teach For America was asked by the state and private philanthropists to grow larger to provide the necessary human capital pipeline for schools and districts. Using millions in national philanthropic dollars Teach For America grew from 200 teachers and 100 alumni to our current scale. Given the state’s ongoing focus on providing a great education to all students, we are fulfilling a critical part of this mission and see continuing to serve more of the highest needs areas of the state as our top priority. One recent example of our effort here is that Teach For America has opened an initial corps in the Louisiana Delta. These corps members currently teach in Concordia, Tensas and Madison parishes.

With evidence that Teach For America teachers are highly effective despite working in the most challenging schools and the evidence that Teach For America alumni are staying in Louisiana (currently more than 1,000 call Louisiana home) and are becoming Principals and other education leaders Teach For America is helping to create system wide improvement for students in the areas we service. As a result we and the LDOE see continued investment to enable this work as critical. Both our ongoing operations and our service in the Louisiana Delta are entirely contingent upon our ability to find and generate the needed funds. Given the positive results and the need to continue this effort and our service in existing and new areas of the state the Louisiana Department of Education may request up to $5,000,000 for Teach For America.

This $5,000,000 is far less than giving levels of our neighboring state of Mississippi but is in line with the needed funds to continue operating in Louisiana. Teach For America is currently leveraging state funds more than 10 to 1 by raising more than $11,000,000 in private funds for our operations in Louisiana. An increase in state funding allows us to continue this work and allows us to attract even more private donations in the years to come.

Teach For America is currently a top 10 place to start a career according to Business Week and with nearly 60,000 applicants last year, including 15%+ of all Ivy League Seniors, 7% of Tulane Seniors and 2% of Seniors at LSU, our corps members, with an average ACT score of a 30 and 100% holding senior leadership roles, represent a unique pipeline of talent that might not have entered education without our recruitment. The pipeline is also incredibly diverse with some 30% being people of color and 40% being from low-income backgrounds. We know that our corps members have great promise to achieve with their students and schools and see this every day. The net benefit of the improvement in education provided yearly to our corps members adds more than $70M in positive returns for the state, not even beginning to count the added other impact. Teach For America is now the largest importer of top flight human capital into the state and is focusing this talent on our #1 issues – improving education. We ask for your support and consideration of the funding to make this possible.


What is the budget relative to the project for which funding is requested?:
Salaries. . . . . . . . . . . . .$0
Professional Services. . .$5,000,000
Contracts . . . . . . . . . . .$0
Acquisitions . . . . . . . . .$0
Major Repairs . . . . . . .$0
Operating Services. . . .$0
Other Charges. . . . . . .$0

Does your organization have any outstanding audit issues or findings? No

If 'Yes' is your organization working with the appropriate governmental agencies to resolve those issues or findings?


What is the entity's public purpose, sought to be achieved through the use of state monies?
Teach For America recruits, selects, trains and supports teachers and leaders for the lowest income schools and school districts in the state of Louisiana and around the country. Teach For America is tapping a previously untapped base of talent and attracting America’s top recent graduates to teach in schools that need their support the most. We are ensuring that these teachers achieve excellent results immediately and are working to channel their energies towards long term impact within education and within the state of Louisiana. Currently our 500+ corps members work with more than 45,000 students in the state of Louisiana. Our 1,000+ alumni run schools, continue teaching in classrooms, are setting policy and otherwise influencing the debate for educational change in a positive direction.

As such, Teach For America’s public purpose is to improve the quality of education for students immediately and the quality of education for all students in the long run by providing the talented leaders who can bring our students, our schools and our state into the future. In doing so Teach For America corps members and alumni tackle challenges like the drop out rate, low literacy rates and societal effects of poverty while also providing opportunities for economic development, visibility and innovation – all of which are state priorities.


What are the goals and objectives for achieving such purpose?
For the 2013 – 2014 school year Teach For America will recruit, select, train and support a corps of between 500 and 700 teachers within the state of Louisiana, up from our normal state of 200 just a few years ago. With appropriate funding we will be able to grow this number to beyond 700 with a specific focus on the Baton Rouge, Shreveport and continued impact throughout the New Orleans area.

During the 2013-2014 school year Teach For America will continue recruiting and retaining talented Teach For America alumni as school leaders, teachers and other influencers within the state. Growing this number above 1,000 statewide.

Teach For America will maintain and expand up the current quality of our teachers and alumni by providing additional training, resources, connections and opportunities for development.

Teach For America will also, as previously, share best practices, resources and information with schools, school districts and the state to help improve all practices and supports for teachers and leaders throughout the state.


What is the proposed length of time estimated by the entity to accomplish the purpose?
One School Year

If any elected or appointed state official or an immediate family member of such an official is an officer, director, trustee, or employee of the recipient entity who receives compensation or holds any ownership interest therein:
(a) If an elected or appointed state official, the name and address of the official and the office held by such person:
Kira Orange-Jones
Executive Director
Teach For America - Greater New Orleans

P.O. Box 65148
Baton Rouge, LA 70896

Kira is an elected member of BESE and has cleared her continued role with Teach For America through the Louisiana Board of Ethics.


(b) If an immediate family member of an elected or appointed state official, the name and address of such person; the name, address, and office of the official to whom the person is related; and the nature of the relationship:


(c) The percentage of the official's or immediate family member's ownership interest in the recipient entity, if any:


(d) The position, if any, held by the official or immediate family member in the recipient entity:


If the recipient entity has a contract with any elected or appointed state official or an immediate family member of such an official or with the state or any political subdivision of the state:
(a) If the contract is with an elected or appointed state official, provide the name and address of the official and the office held by such person:


(b) If the contract is with an immediate family member of an elected or appointed state official:
Provide the name and address of such person:


Provide the name, address, and office of the official to whom the person is related:


What is the nature of the relationship?

(c) If the contract is with the state or a political subdivision of the state, provide the name and address of the state entity or political subdivision of the state:
Teach For America receives funding by contract through the Louisiana state Budget from the Louisiana Department of Education. The LDOE via State Superintendent of Education John White is the primary requester but in previous years our grant has been managed through the Division of Teacher Recruitment and Certification under the leadership of Barbara Burke.

Barbara Burke
Division of Teacher Recruitment and Certification
Louisiana State Department of Education
PO Box 94064
Baton Rouge, LA 70804


(d) The nature of the contract, including a description of the goods or services provided or to be provided pursuant to the contract:
Teach For America supplies and supports some current 500+ teachers in Louisiana. For the coming year Teach For America proposes to recruit, select, training and support some 550+ - 700 corps members and 1,000+ alumni to continue and expand operations state-wide.


Contact Information
name: Michael Tipton
address: P.O. Box 65148
Baton Rouge, LA 70896

phone: 2253818163x16101
fax: 2253818234
e-mail: michael.tipton@teachforamerica.org
relationship to entity: Executive Director, Teach For America - South Louisiana